At T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia, Muhtadi was a four-year starter along the defensive and offensive lines. He also was the team's punter during his last two years. He finished second in the Patriot District in sacks in 2004, and broke the school's all-time punting record with a long of 76 yards against West Springfield High School.
Throughout his high school playing career, Muhtadi started games at defensive tackle, end, nose guard, and outside linebacker on defense, and at offensive tackle, guard, center, and tight end on offense. He was also the team’s punter and kicker. Often his position changed every week to shadow the opposing team’s best player. Muhtadi was an All-District choice at both defensive line and punter, as well as the team MVP.
In 2004 and 2005, Muhtadi played college football for Division III Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. After redshirting his freshman season due to mononucleosis, Muhtadi started at defensive tackle for the Captains his sophomore year. He then transferred to the University of Maryland in the Atlantic Coast Conference where he earned a scholarship, and a starting position. In 2008, Muhtadi finished third in sacks for the Terrapins. He was also only the second player in the past 15 years to play all defensive line positions in a game for the Terrapins.
Muhtadi currently owns several of Maryland's all-time records for strength and speed: 225 lb. Bench Press Test: 36 repetitions (Team Record) 40 Yard Dash: 4.78 (Defensive Tackle Record) Power Clean: 390 lbs. (Defensive Line Record) Vertical Jump: 36.5 inches (Defensive Line Record) Pro Agility (20 yard shuttle): 4.37 (Defensive Line Record).
In his three years at Maryland, Muhtadi was one of the top student-athletes in the Atlantic Coast Conference. In 2008, Muhtadi won the Jim and Pat Thacker Postgraduate Scholarship for being one of the top student-athletes in the ACC for all sports and all schools. In 2007 and 2008, Muhtadi also received the George Boutselis Memorial Award for being the letterman with the highest academic average on the football team. He also was named to the All-ACC Academic Team in 2008 and was a three-time Dean’s List student. Muhtadi is currently enrolled in the Smith Business School MBA Program.
At Christopher Newport, Muhtadi was awarded a full academic scholarship. While also being named the top student-athlete on the team, Muhtadi was a two-time All USA South Athletic Conference All-Academic Selection, a member of the President’s Leadership Program, Honors Program, and Student Executive Board of the Business School. He also received the Edith McMurran Honors Scholarship for the student who best demonstrates the balance of leadership, public service, and academic excellence.
Professional Football Career
Green Bay Packers
Muhtadi was signed by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent following the 2009 NFL Draft on May 4, 2009. He earned his contract on a tryout basis by being one of three players signed out of 25 trying out for the team. Muhtadi was the only player on the depth chart listed at both Defensive End and Nose Guard. On September 3, 2009 against the Tennessee Titans, Muhtadi finished third on the team with 5 tackles, 1 for loss, and a forced fumble in a spectacular performance. Toward the end of the game, Muhtadi forced a fumble to save a touchdown. He was waived on September 4, 2009.
Muhtadi was signed by the Arizona Cardinals on January 20, 2010 to play defensive line. He was given the nickname "The Iron Sheik" by coaches and teammates due to his freakish strength as he was the strongest player on the team. Muhtadi became training partners with Darnell Dockett as the two competed against one another every day in workouts. He was injured during training camp and placed on Injured Reserve.
Professional Wrestling Career
NXT Wrestling (2012-present)
In August 2012, Muhtadi signed with WWE and reported to its developmental territory NXT Wrestling. Muhtadi was given the ring name Mojo Rawley as he made his television debut for NXT took place on the May 29, 2013 episode of NXT, where he competed in an 18-man battle royal to determine the number one contender to the NXT Championship and was eliminated by Mason Ryan.
Since he was in 7th grade, Muhtadi has worked with the financial services firm Morgan Stanley. Beginning as an internship and branching into employment, Muhtadi worked after school and in the summer for several branches throughout Northern Virginia.
Dean Muhtadi currently resides in Tampa, Florida but his hometown is in Alexandria, Virginia. Muhtadi is the son of T.J. and Maria Muhtadi and has 4 siblings: Lena (28), Casey (24), Tammy (22), and Garrett (13).
- Hyper Drive (Running seated senton)
- Signature moves
- Hip attack
- Repeated shoulder blocks
- Stinger splash
- Thesz Press, followed by repeated left elbow strikes
- Entrance themes
- "Believe the Hype" by CFO$ (present)